April 20, 2018

STEM Students Tour the Amazing Google Campus in NYC

Jacob Bier ‘19

“Honestly, I’d be satisfied if we left now,” said one student, merely minutes after walking into the YouTube lobby. The walls were scattered with YouTube logos and other creative wall art. The cohort of junior STEM students sat on extremely comfortable couches, enjoying coffee and other beverages supplied by Google as they awaited their tour.
The tour was led by Eric Knapp, a GOA alum who works at YouTube. Knapp’s team negotiates contracts with artists, so their music can be played, parodied and used on YouTube. Knapp explained that it’s a win-win situation: YouTube gets more content, and ad space, and the artist gets more publicity.
“As someone who wants to enter the worlds of music and engineering, Knapp’s job fascinated me,” Itai Rekem said. “It was really cool to talk to somebody who pursued my interests and succeeded.”
Each floor of the building had its own theme. The YouTube floor was themed after old New York City, while other floors were themed around astronomy and science fiction. Each room also had a fun name that was related to the theme of the floor.
“It was like a modern art museum,” Stefanie Siegel said.
Josh Kalet, meanwhile, noted how the rooms added a “unique and fun aspect” to the headquarters.
“I’d much rather have a meeting in the Sharknado room than in conference room 943,” he said.
Many students’ favorite part of the headquarters was the abundance of micro kitchens: small snack areas containing nuts, fruit, coffee and more. According to Knapp, it is an unofficial Google policy that no one can be more than 150 feet away from food at any time.
“It should be required for every business to have a micro kitchen,” Dena Feldman said.
Another special benefit available for Google employees is they are able to sleep at their job. The headquarters has showers, towels and “nap pods.”
The students finished off their tour at the game room, which had board games, video games, pool tables, air hockey, ping pong, a pinball machine and a slackline.
“You can really tell that Google cares about the wellbeing of its employees,” Ian Rosen said. There is so much fun stuff to do here that I’m amazed anybody gets any work done.”
After the tour, it was clear the juniors felt Google was a special company.

“We have waited three years for a STEM trip,” Theo Deitz-Green said. “After going to Google, I know that it was worth the wait.”

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